Essay #2; WRIT 105
Words Count 940
"Ballad of the Landlord"
"Ballad of the Landlord" is the poem written in 1951 by Lungston Hughes. The poet voices about racism against black people in the United States. He gives an examples of a simple black man who is put in jail because of his improper talkings against a white man. The black man is a tenant who is treated like a subhuman by the landlord, the police, the press and the judge in the white dominate society. The poet expresses the poem in regular meter and rhyme through out the poem. He uses simple and straight words which is seem plain but sincere.
In the first two stanzas, the black tenant, the main voice of the poem, complains to the landlord about the leaking roof and the broken steps at his rental house needed to be repaired. The house is in a life-threatening conditions: "When you come up yourself. / It's a wonder you don't fall down" (line 7-8) needed to be repaired right away. The tenant has been waiting for the landlord to get the roof and the steps fixes for a week ago. The author characterize the black man as a simple but poor and low educated tenant who habitually uses the substandard language such as slang ("Ten Bucks"), the shorten words ('member, more'n) and grammartically incorrect English ("These steps is broken down"). The author portrays the black man as a legal ignorant who doesn't know much about fighting in court. The black man uses informal complains, not written notice, about the house severe conditions which is a weak witness in court. Finally, the black tenant can't proof his advantages in court against the bias and abusive landlord. The poet uses end rhyme "leak" and "weak" in the first stanza. He also use end rhyme "broken down" and "fall down" in the second stanza.
Instead of listening to the trouble and act his duty as a landlord, he demands for the money ("Ten Bucks you say is due") in the third stanza. The landlord is not supposed to complain...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document